Free Northerner has a great proposal concerning the refugee (and immigration) crisis; those who claim to care so much about their plight can put their money where their mouth is by sponsoring them.
In other words, agreeing to assume the financial costs of having them in the country, rather than placing the burden on the taxpayers.
In the sponsorship program a particular citizen can sponsor a refugee (or a legal immigrant, we can apply this to all immigration). The sponsor then becomes legally responsible for the new immigrant. When the immigrant/refugee first enters the country, the sponsor is responsible for providing housing, food, clothing, and other such necessities to their sponsored immigrant until the immigrant is able to do so themselves.
Once the immigrant is established, he can never access any public service during his life time; if the immigrant ever requires welfare, subsidized housing, health care, public schooling, etc., the sponsor is responsible for providing such services for the immigrant. If the immigrant ever does access a public service, the sponsor shall owe the state for the cost of the service.
If the immigrant ever commits a crime, the immigrant will be immediately deported, while the sponsor receives any punishment (including jail time and/or the death penalty) that the immigrant would have received in the immigrant’s place.
This would address the legitimate qualms of those opposed to or concerned about accepting refugees in such mass waves, and would make an excellent solution to the immigration debate here in America by removing perverse incentives for people to enter the country.
Therein lies the rub, of course. Not only would it remove much of the reason many immigrate to countries with deeply entrenched welfare states in the first place, but if this were put into practice, how many of those who talk of compassion and empathy would ever sponsor anyone under these mostly reasonable terms?
It’s easy to be “thoughtful” when somebody else is paying the price. Empathy is cheap when someone else is footing the bill for such sentiments.